February 29, 2008

It’s Just Beer

I recently learned that a friend was allowing his child, aged 16, to drink alcohol. When I questioned my friend he simply stated, "It’s just beer!"

Recent information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows the following numbers:

59.8  — The percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who reported talking at least once in the past year with their parents about the dangers of drug, tobacco, or alcohol use. Youths who reported having such conversations had lower rates of current drug, tobacco, or alcohol use than those who did not talk with their parents about substance abuse!

28.2 — The percentage of 12- to 20-year-olds who reported drinking alcohol in the past month. 18.8 percent of underage drinkers were binge drinkers and 6 percent were heavy drinkers. To compare, if you just look at the number of high school kids who drank in the last month, the percentage increases to 43.3!

9.9 — The percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who have had five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. This is called "binge drinking." To compare, if you just look at the number of high school kids who binge drank in the last month, the percentage increases to 25.5!

5.8 — The percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who needed treatment for an alcohol use problem.

2.4 — The percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who have had five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days. This is called "heavy drinking." Of these kids, 60 percent also reported using illicit drugs.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies: 2005 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, Alcohol Use Data

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February 25, 2008

The Ice Man

An amazing story about a boy I graduated high school with and the effect that drinking had on his life. Definitely a story to pass on to anyone you know who has teen-age children who drink.

 

 

http://citypages.com/databank/24/1201/article11732.asp

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February 22, 2008

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between being an alcoholic and having an alcohol abuse problem. 


Those who are what some call “functioning alcoholics” are actually people
with alcohol abuse problems.  They clearly drink way too much on a regular basis and have some of the same symptoms of alcoholism such as health related issues.  Alcohol abusers usually have some semblance of normalcy, or control in their actions.  They set limits or only allow themselves to drink at specific times, but still consume way more than the average social drinker.

Alcoholics are unable to control their drinking at any point.  They are physically, emotionally, and mentally addicted to alcohol.  The consequences of alcoholism can be severe in regards to both mental and physical health, and how they function in the everyday world.  Alcoholics, also known as those with alcoholism or an alcohol addiction, are unable to control their drinking at any time.

This distinction is very important in deciding the type of help one needs to become alcohol free.  Alcohol abuses will need more emotional and psychological assistance while an alcoholic will also need more of the physical help in overcoming the continual consumption of alcohol.

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February 20, 2008

My Own Private Hell

You have got to check out this story at www.drugfree.org.

A story of courage and hope for all those wishing to become the sober, happy person they know they can be.

 

 

http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/Stories/My_Own_Private_Hell

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February 18, 2008

Alcoholism Stories

One of the hardest things about alcohol addiction is the sense of isolation and alienation.  That is why recovering addicts, whether alcohol or other drugs, want to speak out to those w ho may not have yet found the courage to stop.

Previously, the only way alcoholics had of talking to recovering alcoholics was to join groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.  Now we have the internet.

Websites such as www.amazon .com is filled with books with heartrending recovery stories.   Also, www.alcoholism.about.com is filled with personal stories written directly by the recovering alcoholics on everything they have dealt with from admitting they are alcoholics to the day to day fight to stay sober. Another major site for amazing stories to help a person struggling with being sober is www.drugfree.org.

The important thing to remember while trying to stay sober is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  There are many others just like you and together, you can help each other.  All you have to do is go to your favorite search engine and type “alcoholism stories” and you will find thousands to read through until you find something with which you can relate. 

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February 15, 2008

Physical Violence in Alcoholics

There are many studies from universities throughout the country trying to understand the correlation between alcoholism an domestic violence.  Some researchers believe that the high number of domestic violence cases involving alcohol may be misleading.  Is it a fact that so many domestic violence cases relating to alcohol abuse are caused by the addiction of alcohol, or could it be that the existence of the alcohol abuse is caused by the domestic violence?        

Either or neither way, alcoholism has some connection the violence that so many families deal with everyday.  Families feel the fear of a child towards an intoxicated parent, the fear caused by a drunken spouse, and in some reported cases, the fear of the parents caused by an alcoholic child.  Understanding that an alcoholism problem exists either within yourself or in a family member is the first step in preventing or stopping a violent situation from escalating.  Alcohol does not allow for acceptable emotional control and does allow for a normal argument to quickly become violent.

If you have begun to notice significant changes in a person’s emotional and physical behavior during stressful times, alcohol abuse may be a factor and should be taken seriously.  There are many organizations, progams, and articles that can be found to help understand the toll both physical and alcohol abuse can have on a family. 

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February 13, 2008

Is Your Spouse an Alcoholic?

Being able to recognize if your spouse is an alcoholic can be difficult in many ways.  Understanding your partners drinking habits and your own possible role as an enabler, can be as stressful to your emotional wellbeing as your partners alcoholism.  The first step is looking for patterns in their drinking habits.  Do they drink everyday?  Every weekend.  Only on Sundays? Do they drink because the kids were screaming all day? Their job is particularly stressful that day?  

As we all know, and occasional social drink and drinking to forget a stressful situation are two separate entities. Someone who is clearly drinking to relieve stress is to be considered a potential alcoholic.   If you spouse is consistently having to have a few drinks after work just to relax, most likely they are having alcohol dependency problems.

Many recovering alcoholics state that they always tended to blame someone else for all of their problems;  their boss was difficult,  their spouse nagged all the time, money was scarce.  Instead of admitting to any responsibility, they drank their problems away. Has your spouse been blaming everyone around them for their perceived problems?

Alcoholics tend to ignore their family and the problems associated with handling the day to day tasks of raising a family.  Do you feel that you are needing to take up the slack to make the bills, fix your home, or take care of the children?  Take a close look at where your spouse is failing for you and your family and see if it can be traced back to alcohol usage. 

T here are many surveys out there to take, articles and books to read, and programs to watch that state if you answer this many questions yes, they alcoholism is present.  Unfortunately, every situation is different.  Not only do you need to look at how much is being drank, but also what other behavior is causing problems in your family life.  There is no easy answer but there is a lot of help for the spouse and family if they take the time to look for it.

 

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February 11, 2008

Alcohol and Your Memory

You may have experienced a blackout yourself, or have a friend who states they just can’t remember what they did during or after consuming a large amount of alcohol.  Blackouts are defined as having a period of amnesia caused by alcohol inhibiting the ability create memories in the brain. There are reported stories of people losing hours, days, and in one case, even a weeks of their lives due to alcohol consumption on a large scale. This is not to be confused with passing out.  Blackouts can occur with others around you thinking you are coherent.  Blackouts are considered an indicator of alcoholism. 

It can be quite frightening and traumatic when a blackout occurs.  Can you imaging going out one Friday night, getting intoxicated, going home and not remembering where you had been or with whom, or even how you got home? 

As traumatic as a blackout can be, just everyday normal memory loss can be just as troubling.  Alcohol is currently being studied to understand the exact effects it has on the human brain.  In surveys, even moderate drinkers state they can notice an increase in forgetfulness.  Many state noticing an increase in forgetting to pay a bill, call their family on an important day, attend the meeting that they had been so excited about attending. 

 

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February 8, 2008

True Story…..

Everyone in there life comes to a decision to quit drinking alcohol and this was true for Carol Klein.

Dear Friends
This is a true story of Carol Klein.

Carol now lives in Chicago, USA, and is now happily married to her husband, and is a mother of two wonderful daughters and one wonderful son.

Not everything as always been this rosy for Carol. By the early age of 16 Carol had began sampling different alcoholic drinks, and in her early twenties her drinking problem had began to spiral out of control.

Carol is now 38 and a reformed alcoholic. Like lots of us, Carol tried a ton of stuff to try and help her quit her drinking problem, but she saw very little results.

What you’re about to read is the transcription from a telephone conversation I had with Carol on February 1st, 2008.

Right click the PDF Image Below and select "Save Target As" to download.




Ed.

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Alcohol’s Affect on Musculatory Systems

Too much alcohol can significantly reduce your muscle-building ability.  Here are several ways alcohol inhibits muscle growth.

1.  Protein Snythesis is the process of making protein in cells.  Alcohol consumption can slow this process by up to 20%.  Muscles are made up of protein and cannot grow as well at this slower rate.

2.  Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for skeletal muscle development.  Alcohol consumption can also lower your testosterone levels and increase your estrogen levels.

3.  It is well known that alcohol can cause dyhydration within the body.  Muscles are made up of about 70% water. 

4.  Alcohol consumption casues important vitamins to be depleted at more rapid rate.  Vitamins are essential for muscle growth and maintenance. 

5.  Even with the low calorie alcoholic beverages now available, alcohol can still be very fattening.  The more fat, the less muscles.

Remember, alcoholism effects every part of your life, your body, mind, emotions, family, work, and friends. 

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